Monday, May 22, 2017

The lesson of Trump's presidency

Here's P.J. O'Rourke:
"The politician creates a powerful, huge, heavy, and unstoppable Monster Truck of a government," P.J. O'Rourke writes in his new book, How the Hell Did This Happen?. "Then supporters of that politician become shocked and weepy when another politician, whom they detest, gets behind the wheel, turns the truck around, and runs them over."
This was exactly the warning made by Conor Friedersdorf back in March 2016: "Tyrant-Proof the White House—Before It's Too Late"
Before moving into a new house, parents of small children engage in child-proofing. Before leaving the White House, Obama should engage in tyrant-proofing. For eight years, he has evinced a high opinion of his own ability to exercise power morally, even in situations where Senator Obama thought that the president should be restrained. At this point, better to flatter his ego than to resist it. You’ll be gone soon, Mr. President, and for all our disagreements, I think your successor is highly likely to be less trustworthy and more corruptible than you were.
This Atlantic piece refers specifically to foreign policy (e.g. drone strikes) but the same can be said for domestic policy.  It's an axiom of conservatism that "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."  Well, now we've built up this gargantuan ship of state and put it in the hands of somebody who does not fit the mold of a traditional President.  Who knows which way we're going?

For those of us who advocated a smaller federal government and a limited executive branch, well, told ya so.


Anonymous said...

For those of us who advocated a smaller federal government and a limited executive branch, well, told ya so.

From 2001-2004, George W. Bush & Co. created a new surveillance state, jacked up federal spending and the national debt, enforced “free speech zones,” signed the Farm bill, No Child Left Behind and the unfunded Medicaid Part D, put two off-budget wars onto your grandchildren’s credit cards, created the Dept. of Homeland Security, increased regulations by 75%, inflated federal employment numbers. After all of that and more, you sure told ‘em so. You told ‘em that “Wednesdays are for W.”

Eric said...

I'm old enough to remember when adding $4 trillion to the national debt was "unpatriotic."